Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Successful Attempt at Homemade Chicken Ravioli!

Ravioli is so yummy! Because of the strong Italian influence in Argentina, I grew up eating it quite a bit.  But this man is the one who inspired me to try my hand at making it myself:

Chef Gordon Ramsay!!

Devin and I have been watching through all the seasons of Hell's Kitchen on Hulu.  A couple of days ago, we watched an episode where the chefs were challenged to create unique ravioli.  They seriously looked so good that I decided to try making some with whatever I had on hand--chicken of course :).

Here is my version of Homemade Chicken Ravioli...


2 chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp basil
1 tsp parsley
salt & pepper to taste
2 Tbsp bread crumbs
2 Tbsp parmesan
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 c cream or milk

Dice the chicken and saute over medium heat in some olive or vegetable oil with the garlic.Once the chicken is cooked, season with basil, parsley, salt, & pepper.  Remove from heat and add bread crumbs, parmesan, olive oil, and cream.  Place chicken mixture in a food processor and grind it all up.  Chill filling in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Pasta Dough

2 c flour
1 egg
1/2 c milk
1 tsp salt

Mix together ingredients until combined.  You may need to add a couple additional drops of milk if it is too dry.  However, the dough shouldn't be sticky at all.  Turn onto floured surface and knead a few times until dough is smooth.  Divide dough in half.  Wrap one half in plastic wrap to keep it from drying out.  Roll out the other half as thin as you can (about 1/8 inch).  Using a cup or some other round object, cut dough into disks.  Repeat with other half of dough.  Collect dough scraps and continue to roll out and cut until you have used it all.


Place a spoonful of filling in the middle of one of the dough circles.  Top with another dough circle and pinch edges shut.  Moisten the edges with a little water if they aren't sticking.  Place finished ravioli on generously floured tray.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.


Boil a large pot of water.  Just before putting ravioli in, drizzle some olive oil in the water.  Drop ravioli into water and gently move pot back and forth a couple of times so that they don't stick together.  I only cooked 6 or 7 at a time.  Boil for 2-3 minutes then remove with a slotted spoon into a gently oiled dish.  Serve with your favorite tomato pasta sauce or creamy white sauce.

There are several steps involved in making these...but trust me, they are so worth it!!


Friday, March 22, 2013

Crispy & Golden Oven Roasted Potatoes

These potatoes are very yummy and quite the crowd pleaser!  Seasoned well and cooked to golden perfection, they provide a great side dish for a bunch of different meals.  Here's how I cook them:


Potatoes (We love red potatoes!)
Olive Oil
Garlic Powder

Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Chop a bunch of potatoes into half inch cubes.  I personally like leaving the skin on them, but you can peel them first if you'd like.  Place the cubed potatoes into a large bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and add seasonings to taste. Toss ingredients together and spread them out evenly in a single layer on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Turn off the oven and set your broiler to high.  Turn the potatoes over with a spatula and broil for 10 min. Turn the potatoes over once more and broil for 10 more minutes or until all sides are golden and crispy.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sewing with Scraps

I love making tiny little clothes with leftover scraps of cloth.  Here's a little dress I sewed this week for my husband's little cousin A that I babysit three mornings a week.  In case you can't tell, she's a ham in front of the camera :)

This dress is a simple tube top with a gathered skirt and strap sleeves.  i made the skirt part by sewing together all kinds of little squares I had left over.  You can't really tell because the pattern is so busy!

I followed this tutorial to make the fabric flower yoyo.

A loves her dress and already tried it on three times this morning :)

What do you do with leftover fabric scraps?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Easy Refashion: Maxi Dress to Maxi Skirt

Some of you may have seen that my husband bought me A SEWING MACHINE FOR MY BIRTHDAY!! In case you can't tell, I'm really excited! that I have sewing equipment...the possibilities are endless!

There are a few things in my closet that I am planning to repurpose/refashion.  My first garment to attack was this semi ugly maxi dress that I bought 4 years ago at Forever 21 for $10.

It served its purpose for awhile, but it hung really weird and was a tad short. Not too mention it was just way too much green. I decided to scrap it and turn it into a cute maxi skirt instead.

I started off  by chopping off the top.

Then I measured around my waist where I wanted the skirt to sit.  I subtracted 3 or 4 inches from that measurement, giving me the length of my waistband.  The reason I took 3 or 4 inches off is because this fabric is very stretchy and I wanted it to fit snugly around my waist.

I cut the waistband from the top of the material.  Since the material is folded in half, I just measured half the length of the waistband from one of the sides.  I wanted my waistband to be about 3 inches wide when finished, so doubled that to allow for folding it over (you'll see this later.)

I quickly sewed up the open side (short end) of the waistband and then folded it in half lengthwise.

Ta da..WAISTBAND! :)  This is essentially going to function as an elastic.  The actual skirt will be much wider.  I had to stretch the waist band as I sewed it to the skirt.  The result was a gathered skirt.  And here's how you do that:

Cut the remaining part of the dress to the appropriate length.  I simply evened off the top of it that way I could keep the original side seams and hem.  Next, pin the waistband to the top of the skirt, right sides together.  Start by pinning the side seams of the waistband to the side seams of the skirt.  Stretch the waistband and pin in several other spots to keep it roughly in place.  This part is tricky.  You want it to have an even amount of stretch all the way around, or else your skirt will be more gathered in certain places than in others.

Sew the waistband to the skirt.  Start at one of your pins.  Stretch the waistband between pins as you sew so that it fits the skirt.  I used a stretch zig zag stitch for this.  When you are finished sewing the waistband in place, flip it up and admire your work  :)  The entire project only took me like 15 minutes.

My waistband ended up stretching a little more than I had planned on.  In the future if I do this again, I will cut the waistband even smaller to allow for it to stretch out a little.  However, I am please with the results and know I will use this skirt much more often than I wore the ugly dress version.  Can't wait for spring!!!

Try to ignore my bright green socks peeking out :)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Home Improvement Project: The Little Things...

Today I am joining the Home Improvement Linky Party over at A Living Sacrifice to show you a couple of very small things I have accomplished in my home.

You've already read a few different posts on this blog regarding my new grocery shopping goals for this year, my system for grocery shopping, and my two week meal plan.  Continuing on with this theme, I came up with two things that make me smile every time I use them--which is quite often!

First of all, I wanted to have something attractive to write my two week menu plan out on.  I had tried this system before, but didn't really like how it worked.  I prefer just writing out my meal ideas without assigning them to a specific day.  That way I can just pick whichever one sounds good on any given day :).  Here's what I came up with:

Menu by

After printing it, I simply popped it into a plastic page protector and wrote my meals on it with a marker.  Simple and easy to use!

This project led to the inspiration of my second project. I decided to update my grocery staples list and format it to match my new menu sheet.  Here's what it looks like:

This list got popped into a plastic sleeve as well and then I hung both on my refrigerator.  I'm loving the colors and the functionality!

What home improvement projects have you been working on lately? 

Monday, March 4, 2013

What's for Dinner?

Today is shopping day! And with shopping day comes my meal plan for the next two weeks.  Here's a peek at what we might be eating over the next few days:

Ranch Chicken & Rice with Tossed Salad

Crispy Oven Fried Chicken with Mashed Potatoes & Carrots

Chicken & Broccoli Casserole

Stir Fry

Lemon Baked Chicken & Veggies

Braised Paprika Chicken with Mashed Potatoes & Green Beans


Cheesy Vegetable Chowder with Rolls

Lipton Soup Chicken with Tossed Salad

Spaghetti with Tossed Salad & Garlic Rolls

Notice a chicken theme going on here? That's because its the healthiest, most versatile,  and least expensive meat we can get!   I try to mix it up and create as many different dishes as I can.  We actually don't get tired of it!

Here are a couple of our new favorites from the list above:

Ranch Chicken & Rice

1 T vegetable oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 cup rice
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup chicken broth or milk
1 packet ranch seasoning

Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet.  Add the chicken and cook for 10 min, until browned on both sides.  Whisk together broth/milk, chicken soup, and 1/2 packet of ranch seasoning.  Add to skillet and heat to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with paprika and serve with the ranch style rice.

Ranch style rice: heat 2 1/3 cups of water and the remaining ranch seasoning in 3 quart sauce pan to a boil.  Stir in 1 cup of uncooked rice and cook according to directions.

Braised Paprika Chicken

3 lb bone-in chicken pieces (thighs, drumsticks)
3/4 t coarse salt
1/2 t ground pepper
2 T canola oil
1 t butter
1 large diced onion
pinch of sugar
1 c diced red bell pepper
2 T tomato paste
2 T sweet paprika
1 t crushed red pepper
1 t dried marjoram
1 c chicken broth
1/2 c sour cream
1 T flour
2 T parsley, dill, or chives

Pat chicken pieces dry and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat oil and butter in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onions and sprinkle with sugar.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are very soft and light brown.  Stir in bell peppers, tomato paste, paprika, and crushed red pepper.  Add the chicken and stir it gently into the onion mixture. Sprinkle with marjoram and add broth. Cover the pot and simmer over medium-low heat until the chicken is very tender, about 50 min.

Just before the chicken is done, whisk sour cream, flour, and the remaining 1/4 t of salt in a small bowl until smooth.  When the chicken is done, remove it to a plate.  Stir the sour cream mixture into the sauce; return to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the sauce coats the spoon.  Reduce heat to low, return the chicken to the sauce and reheat, about 1 min.  Serve garnished with parsley, dill, and/or chives, if desired.